Kurt Vile: Freak Train (video)

Though I spent the better part of Tuesday’s Kurt Vile show at Modified lamenting my habitual inability to remember earplugs, I couldn’t help but be pulled in by the lo-fi psych-rock of Vile & the Violators.

The songs, mostly from his 2009 LP Childish Prodigy, went from loud to louder – riding a crescendo of feedback and distortion. I’m not sure I buy the comparisons to Tom Petty and Neil Young. A more apt (and modern) peer might be something along the lines of The Black Angels – mop-haired stoner jams for a new generation.

Even better, Vile takes a tune like Freak Train – “this one’s a big hit for us on the charts,” he says, jokingly, through his curtain of hair – and anchors it to a pulsating 808 beat, adding a saxophone flourish for good measure.

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